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Showing posts from November, 2021

MMYIF: What About Bob?

My Misspent Youth In Films... What About Bob? Directed by: Frank Oz Starring: Billy Murray, Richard Dreyfuss, Julie Hagerty Released: August 17, 1991 A successful psychotherapist loses his mind after one of his most dependent patients, an obsessive-compulsive neurotic, tracks him down during his family vacation. What I Thought Then Peak Bill Murray. This was one the whole family rewatched, and we loved it. "I'll be peace" was referenced often in our house. What I Think Now There are a lot of different lenses through which you can appreciate this movie, and my level of appreciation fluctuates over the course of the film as these various lenses become apparent. On the one hand, it has a lot of its DNA in the "slobs vs snobs" genre of comedy that Murray cut his teeth on, a genre that's pretty passé these days and not one that I particularly enjoy. On the other hand, it's kind of "the odd couple, but with therapy" and that's fun. On yet another

The Wheel of Time is not Game of Thrones... Nor Should It Be

The long-anticipated live-action adaptation of Robert Jordan's epic fantasy cycle The Wheel of Time  landed on Amazon Prime last weekend. I've watched the first three episodes and I have opinions! I'm a fan of the books, but I had a decidedly mixed reaction to the show. There are things I really like about it. I like the diverse casting. If there were ever a property that could be diversified while still holding to its medieval sword-and-sorcery roots, it's this one. This is the series that asks the question: "What if desert bedouins were Celts, but also ninjas?" I like the location shots. They're beautiful and unique, and very clearly not shot in New Zealand. I loved the design of Shadar Logoth. And I'm mostly fine with the changes from the books so far, with one big Perrin-shaped exception that I'll get into later. What I'm less thrilled about is the mostly unlikable characters, the grim-and-gritty vibe, and the need to shock and depress audi

MMYIF: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

My Misspent Youth In Films... Terminator 2: Judgment Day Directed by: James Cameron Starring: Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong Released: July 3, 1991 A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten-year-old son John from a more advanced and powerful cyborg. What I Thought Then An epic action adventure, much better than the original, and it was great to see a different side of Leonardo DiCaprio and Chase from The Mickey Mouse Club. (Yes, I thought both of those actors were in this movie... neither of them are.) What I Think Now This is the best film in the entire Terminator  franchise, full-stop, no qualifiers. Every other movie is bad except the first one, which is only fine (it has a good story and compelling action, but it's marred by clunky effects, saggy pacing, melodrama, and James Cameron's weird insistence on casting Bill Paxton as a "tough"). This one takes all the groundwork from the original movie

MMYIF: The Rocketeer

 My Misspent Youth In Films... The Rocketeer Directed by: Joe Johnston Starring: Billy Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin Released: June 21, 1991 A young pilot stumbles onto a prototype jetpack that allows him to become a high-flying masked hero. What I Thought Then The first time I watched it I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where I knew Jennifer Connelly from. I liked this one a lot, although I don't remember watching it all that often. It may be the first time I ever read a tie-in novelization. Also, I couldn't understand why Elton John's Rocket Man  wasn't featured in the movie at all--that seemed like a gimme. What I Think Now Was this Disney's first foray into comic book superhero movies? It might be. The film stars Bill Campbell as Cliff, a pilot who finds a jetpack in an old plane that was left there by mobsters running away from the FBI. Along with his coworker and roommate (I guess?) Peevy, played by Alan Arkin, Cliff ends up strapping the t

MMYIF: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

My Misspent Youth In Films... Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Directed by: Kevin Reynolds Starring: Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Released: June 14, 1991 When Robin and his Moorish companion come to England and the tyranny of the Sheriff of Nottingham, he decides to fight back as an outlaw. What I Thought Then I thought it was one of the best interpretations of Robin Hood  that I'd ever seen. Way better than that one with the animals. And much more serious. What I Think Now This is Kevin Costner at the peak of his career. Field of Dreams  and The Untouchables  were behind him. The apocalyptic miscalculations of Waterworld  and The Postman  were still in the future. He'd just come off directing and starring in the awards darling Dances with Wolves , and here he was teaming up with his old friend/director Kevin Reynolds to make a reinterpretation of Robin Hood  that focused on a "poor little rich kid discovers social justice" angle instead of